Brewing Technology At Keurig Green Mountain?

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More than just coffee at Keurig? Could we have known earlier?

More than just coffee at Keurig? Could we have known earlier?

Keurig Green Mountain (formerly Green Mountain Coffee Roasters) made a few headlines this summer when discussing its brand change, plans to broaden its current product offerings, and entering new markets.  A paragraph in an article at The Moltey Fool caught my attention:

Indeed, Green Mountain officials contend that while fiscal 2014 will be a time of focusing on the fundamentals, fiscal 2015 will be about launching new innovations. “It’s one format, (K-Cups), but the brand is actually one that going forward will be getting into other things — water filtration, carbonation. It will all be under the Keurig umbrella,” Riddick said. “The brand going forward must be known by consumers for things other than K-Cups and coffee.”

A brief search on Google Patents shows that GMCR has, in fact, been busy of late, submitting patent applications to the very technologies referenced in the paragraph above.  For example, at least the following applications have all been filed in the U.S. between December 2010 and August 2012:

  1. Method and apparatus for cartridge-based carbonation of beverages

    www.google.com/patents/US20130129870
    App. – ‎Filed Aug 2, 2012 – ‎Published May 23, 2013 – ‎Thomas J. Novak - ‎Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc.

    Systems, methods and cartridges for carbonating or otherwise dissolving gas in a precursor liquid, such as water, to form a beverage. A gas source can be 

  2. Beverage formation apparatus and method using vibratory energy

    www.google.com/patents/US20120308688
    App. – ‎Filed Jun 15, 2012 – ‎Published Dec 6, 2012 – ‎Peter Peterson - ‎Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc.

    Apparatus and method for forming beverages using a beverage cartridge and sonic energy. A cartridge may include a sonic receiver, such as a feature that 

  3. Compositions, systems and methods for portion-packaged soups and meals

    www.google.com/patents/US20120321756
    App. – ‎Filed Jun 15, 2012 – ‎Published Dec 20, 2012 – ‎Richard Estabrook - ‎Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc.

    Methods and systems for producing a food product having a liquid component and an insoluble component, such as soups or stews. A food product assembly 

  4. Method and Apparatus for Cartridge-Based Carbonation of Beverages

    www.google.com/patents/US20110226343
    App. – ‎Filed Jan 31, 2011 – ‎Thomas J. Novak - ‎Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc.

    Systems, methods and cartridges for carbonating a precursor liquid, such as water, 

  5. Beverage Formation Apparatus and Method Using Sonic Energy

    www.google.com/patents/US20110151075
    App. – ‎Filed Dec 17, 2010 – ‎Peter Peterson - ‎Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc.

    Apparatus and method for forming beverages using a beverage cartridge and sonic energy. A cartridge may include a sonic receiver, such as a feature that 

Additionally, the applications listed above have 7 child applications (most unpublished) and I would imagine there will be more filings as the applications get closer to issuance.

Reviewing these patent portfolio additions, Coca-Cola’s purchase of a significant amount of Keurig stock should strike us as nothing unexpected – Keurig has been planning the expansion into carbonated beverages for many years. What this little analysis also confirms is that stock reports and other typical business information can be supplemented by trend analysis of patent filings (even if the publication information is a delayed representation of the actual patent filings).

 


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